We all know about Winnie the Pooh’s affection for honey. Whenever Pooh saw honey, he was like a 2-year old with ADD, ohhh, shiny! He didn’t care if he got stung, chased, it just didn’t matter because he wanted some of that tasty honey! The question, though, is do real bears go just as crazy for honey as Pooh did?
In real life, yes, real bears do eat honey, and a lot more! Bears will throw down a beehive like a peanut with its shell on. They eat the hive, the bees, the honey, the larvae, anything and everything that is in there will make a nice Saturday night dinner for a bear (specifically speaking of black and brown bears). But, is it the honey that the bears are really after?
Believe it or not, unlike Pooh, the real prize for bears are the other things inside the hive. Don’t get me wrong, they eat the honey, but it is the eggs, larvae, and pupae they are really after. For this, bears will invade a hive and ignore the attempts of the adult bees to protect their young. This is mostly in vain, though, as the very thick fur of the bear protects its body against the bee stings. The bears might endure a few stings to the face area, but they can shake off the rest of the bees after they capture their bounty.
How Do Beekeepers Prevent Bears from Stealing their Hives?
Some beekeepers located in areas with a bear population will surround the area with some type of electric fence. This will sometimes dissuade the bears from entering the grounds but if they are really hungry, they will take the shock of the fence to get to the prize. After all, what is a little jolt of electricity compared to 50,000 bees trying to sting you?
Another defense is to keep the hives in areas away from the normal route of the animal. Bears like to stay under cover and in the woods. By creating the honey farms in wide open areas, bears may be less likely to wander out from the protection they are afforded by the natural cover. The time of most concern is the spring, when the bears are done hibernating and looking for food anywhere they can get it.
Luckily, for you, you don’t have to worry about getting stung to get your honey. ManukaHoneyUSA.com carries a full line of honey products to satisfy all your “honey” needs. If you would like more information or want to get your order started, please click here.